A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

Halloween Beret Tutorial (DIY Fusible Web Applique Tutorial)

It's officially October, which means Halloween is right around the corner!! Halloween is my favorite holiday, and even though school inevitably keeps me busy, I love decorating and baking Halloween treats. That being said, costumes are the best part about Halloween. Today's post will show you how to applique the above three berets. While these berets are not true costumes, they might make a fun accessory to a Halloween-inspired outfit.

This tutorial is something I've wanted to make for a long time. In spring of 2017, I discovered the wonders of fusible web, and it has truly changed my applique and sewing game. Fusible web is a manmade fiber that melts when heated. When placed between two pieces of fabric, the web melts and fuses the two together.  It can be used in a variety of ways, either to add fun elements to clothing or by quilters to help make designs and artwork easier to work with. I am by no means an expert, but I hope to share what I've learned to help others. My goal is for anyone that tries this tutorial is able to find success.

This tutorial should also be fairly inexpensive, depending on what materials you already have. I was able to use scrap fabrics and thread, so each beret only cost me $4 in total. I've provided links below to purchase the same materials I used.


As stated above, the bulk of this tutorial will focus on the Jack-O-Lantern Beret. However, I've also provided templates for the other two berets below. I'll make notes for any adjustments to those below as well. 

1. Beret: A basic colored beret is necessary to complete this project. I bought the three shown here on AliExpress from this listing. They were $3.99 at the time, but the price appears to have risen to $4.99 at the time of posting. Keep in mind that AliExpress is not always the most reliable or ethical seller, so you may wish to source your berets elsewhere. For the price, these berets are decent. I've purchased better quality berets on Amazon for about $10. The texture of the AliExpress berets does not resemble true wool berets, which is fine, but they will have a woven texture up close.

2. Scrap Fabric: For the three designs here,  a small piece of black fabric is needed. I recommend using a woven cotton, but a cotton jersey could work if that's what you have. A fat quarter should be more than enough to make all three berets.

3. Template: I've provided three printable PDFs here for each design.

             -Jack-O-Lantern* Template: Click here
             -Smiley Face Template: Click here
             -Alien Face Template: Click here

        Note: Each of the templates is sized for a beret with a 10 3/4"diameter.
4. Thread: A basic black thread that matches your scrap fabric.

5. Fusible Web: I've used EZ-Steam II for this project, available here. The instructions listed here will be based on this product, although there are alternative fusible webs like Steam-a-Seam available. You only need one sheet!

* I originally found this jack-o-lantern shape on Google, but realized it originally came from this post on a blog called Laughing Lindsay.

Step 1: Print and cut out your stencil.

You can download your Jack-O-Lantern template by clicking here or under the Template section in materials above. Once you've printed it out, you'll want to cut out the pieces as shown. 

Step 2: Trace the stencil onto the fusible web.

The next step of the process is to trace your template on to the fusible web. If you're using EZ-Steam II like I am, then you'll trace your design on to the gridded side of the paper. For asymmetric designs, it's important that you trace the design in reverse. This isn't really necessary for the beret designs here, but I did it anyways. 

After completing that step, I found it extremely helpful to mark the name and direction on each traced piece. This will help keep the placement of the pieces in order. This isn't too necessary for our pumpkin here, as most of the pieces are obvious, but it may help. Also, the triangles aren't completely identical with this template, so they are slightly different.

Next, you can trim around the overall shape of all the tracings. This will save some fabric in the next step.

Step 3: Peel off the non-gridded side of your web paper, and stick the fusible web to your fabric.

Before hand, you might want to trim or cut out the pieces separately so they fit better on your fabric. However, do not cut out on the traced line exactly, just cut around it. (If you mess up and do this-don't worry! The next step will just be a little harder).

In my opinion, grain line doesn't matter too much here. (The pieces are very small, and they won't be loose or free to move around.)

Step 4: Cut the pieces out on the traced lines.

This step is pretty self-explanatory; all you have to do is cut the pieces out on the line. Be sure to cut through both layers! 

This it what the pieces will look like once they're cut. The gridded backing is still in tact, just not visible in the picture. 

Step 5: Peel the gridded backing off and stick the pieces on to the beret (fabric side up). 

This is your chance to play with the design a little bit before it's permanent! Start by peeling the gridded backing off the pieces. This will reveal the sticky surface now attached to the fabric pieces. The sticky side will allow you to reposition the pieces a few times before pressing them permanently in the next step.

You can now stick the pieces to your beret. For the jack-o-lantern, if your beret has a center "stem" or small piece sticking up, you'll need to trim it off to make room for the nose.

Here's the layout I settled on when testing the pieces out.

You can really see how the beret is coming together!

Step 6: Press the design to affix it to the beret. 

For this step, you'll be applying heat from the iron to permanently hold the pieces in place. Be careful here- make sure you don't overheat your beret or the fabric you're attaching. Make note of the fiber content of your beret and be sure not to turn your iron to an overly high heat setting. Also, please look at the instructions for whichever brand of fusible web you're using. 

I used the highest heat I could for my beret and scrap fabric. Use a press cloth to protect both your project and your iron. In this case, I used a piece of muslin fabric as my press cloth. Also, don't use steam! 

Here's what your beret will look like once you've pressed the pieces down. It looks indistinguishable from before, but the pieces will no longer be moveable.

Step 7: Stitch the pieces to the beret to permanently connect the two. 

Although the fusible web will hold the design in place, I don't personally think it holds up well long term without some form of extra stitching. In my opinion, the fusible web acts as an aid to make the sewing process much easier.

This step is the toughest step, but it won't be too hard if completed slowly.

Basically, you're going to sew a satin stitch (tight zig zag stitch) around the edges of the piece to attach it to the beret. Start with your needle in the right position on the edge of the attached piece. Then zig zag inwards on the piece. All of your stitching will be on the piece itself.

Play around with the settings on your machine to achieve the best stitch for your beret and fabric. Use a scrap piece of fabric doubled up for this purpose.

On my machine, I used a stitch width around 3.5 and a length of 0.5.

Start with one of the triangular pieces to start and then move on to more difficult pieces as you. To maneuver around corners, lift your presser foot up (while your needle is down) and pivot the beret a few times.

Make sure you clip the threads as you go!

Here's what the back will look like once you've stitched a piece down.

Note: If you're using a fabric that won't fray (such as felt or jersey), then you don't need to sew down the applique pieces with such a tight zig zag stitch. Depending on how you want the end result to look, you could probably even get away with just stitching around the edges of the pieces.

Step 8: Press your beret and you're done! 

This is the final step! Using a press cloth, press the top of the beret to get any wrinkles out that may have occurred during the sewing process.

Tip for wearing: Use a ring of tissue paper inside the beret to puff it up more while wearing.

Smiley Beret Variation

To make the smiley beret, you'll follow the exact same steps as above, but you'll use the smiley face template instead. You can either leave or clip the nose. 

Alien Beret Variation 

The alien beret is arguably the most difficult of all three berets. This is because the appliqued pieces are larger than in the other styles. So, the final result will likely require a little more pressing, particularly if you're using a tight stitch. You can choose whether or not to add the nostrils here, because the beret looks okay without it. 

That's basically it! If you read this far, thanks for checking out my post! 

To see other projects I've completed using fusible web, click here

This is my final semester of college, and it's been killing me time wise. (I guess that's been the case for me almost every semester though...) Anyways, I hope to post more soon!! I'm already working on another project.  

Happy October!!!! Hope everyone is having fun getting in the spooky mood. If you complete this project, please let me know! I'd love to see it!

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